221 B Baker Street!
Does this address strike anything to your mind??
This is the fictional address belongs to the greatest detective the world have ever seen, in books!
The fictional character, was created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and first appeared in 1887’s A STUDY IN SCARLET, after which, the popularity of the character rapidly increased. The stories of Sherlock Holmes were first published in a magazine called THE STRAND MAGAZINE.
In total, Doyle wrote 4 novels and 56 short stories. All set in the Victorian or Edwardian eras (1880 – 1914).
The works of Sherlock Holmes written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are popularly known as the CANON OF SHERLOCK HOLMES. The term is used to distinguish between Doyle’s original work and subsequent woke by other authors, using the same characters.
1. A study in scarlet
2. A sign of four
3. The hound of Baskervilles
4. The valley of fears
Short stories (famous) collected in five books
1. The adventures of Sherlock Holmes
2. The memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
3. The return of Sherlock Holmes
4. His last how
5. The case – book of Sherlock Holmes
All the stories are written as a narration by Sherlock Holmes’s best companion – DR. JOHN. H. WATSON, who usually accompanies Holmes during his investigative series and used to share the quarters with Holmes till his marriage with Mary.
The first detective fiction of English language literature
SHERLOCK HOLMES was not the first detective character. Neither was Hercule Poirot (Agatha Christie)
Edgar Allan Poe’s THE MURDER IN THE RUE MORGUE, has been described as the first detective fiction story, where the detective is portrayed as C. AUGUSTE DUPIN. That character was the root of all the detective works till now!
Coming back to our genius… Sherlock Holmes…
As you know, he was A fictional private detective, who referred himself as a “consulting detective”, is known for his extreme talent in observation, deduction, analysing , forensic science and logical reasoning. Not to forget about mind reading!
What if I tell you that he is a portrayal of a real man? A man with the same skills, extraordinary talent in solving cases and a mind blowing observer?
Well, it is!
He is the real inspiration behind the fictional character – SHERLOCK HOLMES.
Joseph Bell was the great grandson of Benjamin Bell (Mind their names : his father’s and his son’s name is Benjamin Bell as well. That’s….. Gonna be a bit confusing, I know),Who was considered to be the first Scottish scientific surgeon. In his instruction, Joseph Bell emphasized the importance of close observation in making a diagnosis. To illustrate this, he would often pick a stranger, and by observing him, deduce his occupation and recent activities. These skills caused him to be considered a pioneer in forensic science, (forensic pathology in particular), at a time when science was not yet widely used in criminal investigations.
Our story begin here…
In 1877, Arthur Conan Doyle met Joseph Bell and served as his clerk at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. He then created this famous detective character Sherlock Holmes, who Doyle stated, was loosely based on Joseph Bell and his observations.
Bell had solved many police investigations, mostly in Scotland like the famous Ardlamont mystery (1893), usually with his forensic expert Prof. Henry Littlejohn. He had also given his famous analysis of the Ripper murders.
Joseph Bell (Wikipedia link): https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Bell
But I have never mentioned that there were only one inspiration for this character.
HENRY LITTLEJOHN! How can I miss him?
Although Arthur Conan Doyle primarily credited Joseph Bell as being the source of inspiration for his character Sherlock Holmes, he also cited Henry Littlejohn as being a contributing influence. Littlejohn, as a forensic expert involved in police investigations, appears to have been joined by Bell on several investigations; furthermore, Littlejohn taught Doyle forensic medicine when Doyle was studying at the medical school of the University of Edinburgh. There is little Information about this person. But I very much believe that he had greatly influenced the character of Sherlock Holmes. Or perhaps … Dr. Watson? If only Watson was portrayed more intelligent as Littlejohn was!
Henry Littlejohn (Wikipedia link) : https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Littlejohn
Sherlock Holmes, a very complex detective series and character, is something that gives you joy once you are ready to dig deep inside of it! It is amazing and a thrilling book to grab.
- A statement of Holmes’s age in “His Last Bow” places his year of birth at 1854; the story, set in August 1914, describes him as sixty years of age.
- Holmes’s brother Mycroft, seven years his senior, is a government official. Mycroft has a unique civil service position as a kind of human database for all aspects of government policy. Sherlock describes his brother as the more intelligent of the two, but notes that Mycroft lacks any interest in physical investigation
- Financial difficulties lead Holmes and Dr. Watson to share rooms together at 221B Baker Street, London. Their residence is maintained by their landlady, Mrs. Hudson. Holmes works as a detective for twenty-three years, with Watson assisting him for seventeen of those years. Holmes’s friendship with Watson is his most significant relationship.
- The first set of Holmes stories was published between 1887 and 1893. Conan Doyle killed off Holmes in a final battle with the criminal mastermind Professor James Moriarty in “The Final Problem” (published 1893, but set in 1891), as Conan Doyle felt that “my literary energies should not be directed too much into one channel.”
- After resisting public pressure for eight years, Conan Doyle wrote The Hound of the Baskervilles (serialised in 1901–02, with an implicit setting before Holmes’s death). In 1903, Conan Doyle wrote “The Adventure of the Empty House”; set in 1894, Holmes reappears, explaining to a stunned Watson that he had faked his death to fool his enemies.
- Watson describes Holmes as “bohemian” in his habits and lifestyle. He is Said to have a “cat-like” love of personal cleanliness, at the same time. Holmes is an eccentric with no regard for contemporary standards of tidiness or good order.
- Sherlock Holmes is depicted as a kind of an introvert. Except for that of Watson, Holmes avoids casual company. Not to speak of women. Watson often described that he remained a safe distance from that gender and the only ‘one’ from that gender close to him was Irene Adler, who, according to Watson, is perhaps ‘the woman’ for Sherlock!
- Attitudes towards women
As Conan Doyle wrote to Joseph Bell,
“Holmes is as inhuman as a Babbage’s calculating machine just about as likely to fall in love”,
Holmes says of himself that he is “not a whole-souled admirer of womankind”
- Irene Adler is a retired American opera singer and actress who appears in “A Scandal in Bohemia”. Although this is her only appearance, she is one of only a handful of people who best Holmes in a battle of wits, and the only woman. For this reason, Adler is the frequent subject of pastiche writing.
The beginning of the story describes the high regard in which Holmes holds her:
To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex. It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler. … And yet there was but one woman to him, and that woman was the late Irene Adler, of dubious and questionable memory.
~ Dr. Watson.
- The detective goes without food at times of intense intellectual activity, believing that “the faculties become refined when you starve them.”
- At times Holmes relaxes with music, either playing the violin, or enjoying the works of composers such as Wagner and Pablo de Sarasate.
My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people do not know. I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation. That is why I have chosen my own particular profession, or rather created it, for I am the only one in the world.